So for the fifth time in just over four years we have left Australia for what has become our other life in Newfoundland, Canada. Eight months with family and friends, reconnecting with the earth and temperate rainforest of Crow Kiah, has been rich with memories to draw from in the times we miss our home and hearth. Always hard to return from our sojourns in the Maritimes of Canada, it becomes equally hard to leave the warm nest of home, and those we love….
First stop Montreal, as has become our habit, to spend time with our dear friend Cydia. A delightful host, Cydia, plans our days together with a diverse mix of urban and rural experiences all touched with that peculiarly exotic cultural uniqueness that is French Quebec.
Now we all know just how much Nettie loves an Op-Shop… can you imagine her delight in a day of perusing the ‘Fripperies’ of Montreal!?
Next day it was off to the mountains. After just over a hundred kms we passed through what is known as the ‘Gateway to the North’, where the ever increasing spill of human habitation gives way to a thread of small villages, the link to the deep wilderness and the bitterly cold tundras of the north. The cable cars of Mont Tremblant (trembling mountain) were our destination and in no time we were near a thousand meters above sea level looking down on fertile valleys flaunting a thousand hues of green of the exuberant growth of a long awaited spring and early summer. The primordial rush from bud to seed, nourished by myriads of lakes and waterways, is such a contrast to the extreme heat and bone dry summer just past in Australia.
Then what a night we had! Finally, on our fourth visit here, Cirque du Soleil, was home in the city of its inception, and ready to present their new production, Kurios. Down on the harbour in the blue and yellow big top we were transported into the wonderfully fantastical world of the universal language of the circus. From the brilliant tragic comic humour of the clowns, to the courage of the high flyers, to the unbelievable choreography of three women contortionists, it was a performance that will live forever in our memories as a night of magic.
Last full day we spent travelling to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, just over the border into Ontario. A late lunch enjoyed in the vibrant market area serenaded by the enthusiastic refrains of the many anthems by World Cup enthusiasts with seemingly every nation’s club represented, a stroll past the canal and historic parliament buildings ending with a wander through the National Gallery of Canada and it was time to head back to Montreal. A beautiful drive through valleys, farmland and woods where we saw deer, ground hogs and smelled skunks….
Now we turn our heads eastward towards our beloved Newfoundland with our supply of Quebec cheese for cabin retreat time.